Chapter 2

Ermengarde's Point of View

I looked outside with glazed-over eyes, the rain drops slowly dripping down the window pane. A large lightning struck, and a few seconds after came a loud boom that shook my desk. I shivered, a cold flash running through my body. The gloomy weather much resembled my thoughts; I missed Sara beyond all belief. Thinking about it though, I honestly had to wonder, did she miss any of us? After all, she was reunited with her father, living life at large. Did she even remember us at all?

"Ermengarde," Miss Minchin said, interrupting me from my infinite thoughts, "what is six times six?"

"Uh," I said nervously, taking off my glasses. I quickly cleaned them with my shirt, put them back on, and squinted at the board. "Six times six," I repeated, hearing a few snickers from behind me.

I bit my lip in shame. I was the worst student ever. I studied my facts every night; I don't know why I can't memorize them like everyone else does.

Miss Minchin stood up at the front of the room, chalk in her hand, standing impatiently there, waiting for me to give her answer to she could write it down on the chalk board.

As a distraction, I quickly twirled my messy red hair around my finger, trying to count on my fingers six times six without Miss Minchin seeing me. Last time I did that, I went without supper that night. But, what else was I to do? If I didn't answer at all, I would be without supper for two nights.

"Six times six," I repeated, nodding my head as if I knew the answer no problem.

"Ermengarde," Miss Minchin's pinched voice came as I began to fidget. "You do know the answer, don't you?"

"Yes, Miss Minchin," I replied quietly. "Six times six…" I paused, looked up, and questioned, "Thirty?"

More snickers.

I simpered, rubbed my hands together as if I knew I had made a silly mistake and said, "No, I meant…40."

Miss Minchin raised an eyebrow, fully aware now that I didn't know the answer. "Ermengarde," she said, not amused, "No supper for two nights."

"Yes, ma'am," I said, tears brimming the edges of my eyes. I sat at my desk awkwardly, feeling everyone's eyes on me. Some of the eyes were filled with pity, sorrow, and sympathy for me…and some were filled with entertainment. I sunk lower in my seat as Miss Minchin called on Jennifer to answer the question.

"Six times six," Jennifer said, shooting a death-glare at me, "is clearly 36."

"Good," Miss Minchin said, her chalk scratching against the chalk board, causing me to cover my ears in pain.

Jennifer smirked at me, seeming to say, "I'm better than you," and I returned with sticking my tongue out at her.

Sticking her nose up in the air like the little snob she was, she flipped her perfect brown hair and faced the front of the classroom.

"Class is dismissed," Miss Minchin said, slamming her books on the desk.

My stomach growled as I looked down at it, the hunger eating me alive. Two days. Two torturous days without food.

Sighing heavily, half with relief that class was over and half with sorrow that I was to go without food for two days, I got up trudged my way out of the classroom.

"Nice math skills," Jennifer whispered in my ear and skipped away, laughing amongst her friends.

"Don't listen to her," Jane said, coming up to me. "She's just a spoiled, know-it-all, goodie two shoes."

Laughed, I gave Jane a smile, letting her know she had made me feel a little better, at least; something no one else had been able to do ever since Sara left.

"Ermengarde, to your room this instance!" Miss Minchin said walking out of the classroom.

Without even giving a nod of comprehension, I left for my room, the words "I hate you," leaving my lips, slowly heading toward Miss Minchin.

And it was true. I hated Miss Minchin, along with every other heart-holding, not-cold creature on this Earth.

Miss Minchin wasn't even supposed to be working here anymore She was supposed to be working as a chimney sweeper, but of course, with her and her superior lying skills, she managed to sneak her way back in to teaching us. Of course, she couldn't keep away from making our lives miserable for too long…after all, it was her favorite hobby.

Rolling my eyes, I finally reached for my door knob as I remembered something: Emily.

Tiptoeing ever so quietly to Lavinia's room where Emily was staying, I opened it to find Lavinia holding Emily in her arms.

"Lavinia," I asked, "May I please see Emily?"

Tears streaked across her face, she merely nodded, handing Emily to me as if she had some poisonous disease.

I grabbed Emily and hugged her tight, half expecting to feel a hug back.

"Emily," I said, looking the doll in the eye. "Please…bring Sara back," I whispered, not wanting Lavinia to hear me in the case she thought I sounded selfish.

But, true it be, I couldn't survive in this world with out Sara. She was always there for me. She always told me stories that could make me laugh out loud or cry until there were no more tears to shed, and she also helped me with my math facts. I was doing fine in math until Sara left. Not only those things, but she was my best friend, I needed her back.

Without saying a word, I handed Emily back to Lavinia as I ran out of the room and made my way to my bedroom.

When I reached my destination, I jumped on the bed, not caring how much I messed it up. I laid there for hours, ignoring my empty stomach, only thinking about my lost friendship, and hoping and praying Sara would come back.